Image: Richardson, S. Heatwave / Hot Bodies. Gouache on Fabriano Paper 30cmx40cm.
Our aim for moving the IACAT Journal online with this project (POLYPHONY) is to provide a more accessible, vibrant, dynamic platform for contributors to share their personal and professional journeys of discovery as they learn, teach, develop and pioneer new knowledge. We seek with the POLYPHONY project to provide an online space for creative arts therapists in Ireland and beyond to share key insights and innovations, as part of enhancing the profession and practice of the arts therapies.
We follow the IACAT mission “for Creative Arts Therapies to be accessible, visual and valued as an integral part of health, education and social care systems”.
We also seek to advance an understanding of how the arts therapies contribute to enriching individual’s lives and environments. We believe that evidence based research, demonstrating how the arts therapies work and what they can achieve, is key to this mission.
A POLYPHONY arises out of not just one voice, but many and diverse contributions. It is a combining, not a merging, of simultaneous lines of independent voices or melodies, co-existing in equal measure. While each contribution retains distinction, they accompany each other as a composition that is played at the same time. As such, this journal represents a scene with different stages and events happening concurrently - it is a festivity of images, opinions, sounds, and words that move and ignite.
POLYPHONY offers an important resource for getting to know each other’s work, for contributing to a strong community of arts therapists and collaborators in Ireland, and for presenting our work to arts therapists in other countries, as well as getting to know more about their work as we invite them to publish with us. We also seek to explore the proven benefits of arts therapies when applied in interdisciplinary settings.
Hand in hand with these goals, using POLYPHONY we are dedicated to supporting our authors at every step of the writing process. We recognise that many therapists are so passionate, dedicated and hard-working in their practice, that they may find it difficult to put aside valuable writing time. We also acknowledge that writing academically about their work is not everyone's first love.
Our dedicated team of editors, advisors and reviewers are on hand to chat about any questions that arise, and to help authors and prospective authors to develop ideas at every stage. We believe strongly in the value of your knowledge and experience and we want to help you to share that. We also understand that writing is a very personal endeavour, and with that in mind we value empathy and support in all our communications.
With this in mind, we call on colleagues to submit work for peer review and publication on this new online resource.
Whether this is research or evaluation papers, case studies, theoretical articles, survey based papers, project reports, reflective papers and interviews, all are invited, provided papers have a sound conceptual or evidence base. We promote a diversity of methodologies, including arts based research, as a way of examining and understanding experience.
Rowena Keaveny is a professionally qualified Art Therapist based in Offaly, Ireland. She is passionate about making art therapy more accessible and visible as a valuable resource for positive mental health. She has a special research interest in the use of technology in the form of digital narrative to facilitate an understanding of individual experience, its impact, and, as an additional tool, to aid self-discovery and recovery. Rowena is also a practicing artist.
Dr Maggie O’Neill is a researcher in the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research interests center on issues of representation, marginality, and ageing. Her background is interdisciplinary, in literary and cultural studies, social and cultural gerontology, gender, and psychoanalytic theory.
Prof Jane Edwards, University of New England
Prof Sue Jennings, University of Roehampton
Prof Phil Jones, University College London
Prof Shaun McNiff, Lesley University
Prof Helen Payne, University of Hertfordshire
The Irish Association of Drama, Art and Music Therapists was officially launched in 1992. It developed from a core group of creative arts therapists who had trained abroad and were in the process of establishing their professions in Ireland in the 1980s. The first A.G.M. was held in 1993, when a constitution was ratified and a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics laid out. In 1998 when dance movement therapists were included, the Association changed its name to the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists. Learm more about IACAT